DNA Might be the Best Bargaining Chip We Have With Aliens

Farmer meets alien.

If we ever needed to barter with an advanced alien species, our DNA might be the best currency we could offer, according to Daniel Helman, a professor of Labor Relations and Trade Unions at Ton Duc Thang University in Vietnam.

That’s because our technology would likely be antiquated compared to theirs, making it essentially useless in trading and bargaining. But if we could give them something completely unique to our specific planet, there’s a good chance they may be interested.

Helman first proposed this idea at the International Space Development Conference, and later expanded on it in an interview with Motherboard.

Our DNA he said, is like a record of millions of years of evolution and interaction with Earth’s environment, and if we could give them mapped-out documentation of this, they may consider it useful. The Human Genome Project and other attempts to catalogue our DNA would be a good starting point to begin negotiations.

Barring the possibility these extraterrestrials might have some sort of highly advanced system to fast track DNA sequencing, we would already have a solid foundation of background knowledge in epigenetics – how the environment affects the expression of genes – and evolutionary processes that have led to most modern species on Earth.

Helman also points out that he believes our gradual destruction of biodiversity on the planet lowers the number of bargaining chips we hypothetically have to trade. The more animals go extinct, the less DNA we have – unless we start storing embryos and DNA samples in the Doomsday Vault.

Though, one concern with Helman’s idea is that giving up the building blocks to life on Earth might lead extraterrestrials to develop diseases that could wipe us out. But if they had technology vastly superior to anything we have, they would probably have the means to destroy us in a number of ways.

Essentially, the argument hinges on whether these extraterrestrial visitors are bent on conquering or making friends with us. A timeless hypothetical, but for the sake of Helman’s argument, we should consider the latter scenario.

And in the sense that our biggest obstacle to the next level of technological advancement is surviving ourselves, it’s more likely that developed alien species would lean towards the peaceful side. For us, perpetual global conflicts and the looming threat of nuclear war could be the deciding factor in whether we continue as a species that explores the galaxy or destroys itself.

So, if an alien race has advanced far enough to make it to Earth, it’s likely our global infighting and environmental destruction would look petty and archaic to them. So it might be time we develop a disruptive marketing strategy for our DNA, and prepare for an intergalactic game of poker.

 

Watch Chase Kloetzke discuss the potentials of various agendas an alien species might have visiting Earth on this episode of Beyond Belief:



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